- violent or furious (esp in the phrase tearing hurry or rush)
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
Pathology, Physiologyshedding tears.
Old English tæherende (not recorded in Middle English);
see tear1, -ing2
violent or hasty:with tearing speed.
- tear2 + -ing2 1600–10
- Physiologya drop of salty, watery fluid produced by glands around the eyelid:Tears wash away dirt and dust in the eye.
- Physiologya drop of this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, esp. grief, pain, or sadness:Tears flowed down his face during the funeral.
- tears, [plural] an act of weeping:She burst into tears.
v. [no object]
- Idiomsin tears, weeping:I found her in tears.
tear•y, adj., -i•er, -i•est.
tear2 /tɛr/USA pronunciation v., tore, torn, tear•ing, n.
- to pull or pluck violently at:He tore at her sleeve, begging her to stay.
- to cause a feeling of distress, pain, or unhappiness; afflict:The grief tore at his heart.
- to pull down;
demolish: [~ + object + down]They're tearing the old library down.[~ + down + object]They're tearing down the old library.
- to discredit or show to be false: [~ + down + object]He tore down the theory that some races are more intelligent than others.[~ + object + down]The scientists were quick to tear that theory down.
- to tear into small shreds: [~ + up + object]He tore up the message.[~ + object + up]He tore the message up.
- to cancel or annul: [~ + up + object]to tear up a contract.[~ + object + up]to tear a contract up.
- Physiologya drop of the saline, watery fluid continually secreted by the lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and the eyelid, serving to moisten and lubricate these parts and keep them clear of foreign particles.
- Physiologythis fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, esp. grief.
- something resembling or suggesting a tear, as a drop of a liquid or a tearlike mass of a solid substance, esp. having a spherical or globular shape at one end and tapering to a point at the other.
- Ceramics[Glassmaking.]a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel;
- tears, grief;
- in tears, weeping:He was in tears over the death of his dog.
(noun, nominal) Middle English teer, Old English tēar, tehher, taeher;
cognate with Old High German zahar, Old Norse tār, Gothic tagr, Greek dákry, Latin lacrima (see lachrymal);
(verb, verbal) Middle English teren, Old English teheran, in teherende (gerund, gerundive), derivative of the noun, nominal
v., tore or (Archaic)tare, torn or (Archaic)tare, tear•ing;
wrench away with force:to tear wrappings from a package; to tear a book from someone's hands.
I was tearing around all afternoon trying to find sandals for the beach.
- to pluck violently at;
attempt to tear:She tore at the bandages until they loosened.
- to distress; afflict:remorse that tears at one's soul.
- to pull down;
- to disparage or discredit:to tear down one's friends behind their backs.
- to attack impulsively and heedlessly:He tore into the food with a will.
- to attack verbally:She tore into him for being late for dinner.
to tear off a set of tennis.
- to tear into small shreds:He tore up the drawings because she had criticized them.
- to cancel or annul:to tear up a contract.
Middle English teren (verb, verbal), Old English teran;
cognate with Dutch teren, German zehren to consume, Gothic distairan to destroy, Greek dérein to flay
- a drop of the secretion of the lacrimal glands
- something shaped like a hanging drop: a tear of amber
Also called (esp Brit): teardrop Etymology: Old English tēar, related to Old Frisian, Old Norse tār, Old High German zahar, Greek dakri
- to cause (material, paper, etc) to come apart or (of material, etc) to come apart; rip
- (transitive) to make (a hole or split) in (something)
- (intransitive) often followed by along: to hurry or rush
- (tr; usually followed by away or from) to remove or take by force
- when intr, often followed by at: to cause pain, distress, or anguish (to)
- tear one's hair ⇒ informal to be angry, frustrated, very worried, etc
- a hole, cut, or split
- the act of tearing
See also tear away, tear downEtymology: Old English teran; related to Old Saxon terian, Gothic gatairan to destroy, Old High German zeran to destroy
ˈtearable adj ˈtearer n